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  1. Junior Member
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    Default Network Administrator vs. Developer (Programmer)

    I have always heard that programming (software developing) is much more complicated, intricate, and requires more math than networking. However, I have heard that networking has its own difficulties in the fact that a Network Administrator needs to be sort of a "Jack of All Trades" in regards to IT hardware and software. He needs to know how to deal with all kinds of networking and system issues that may arise, whereas a programmer just mostly concentrates on programming. And because of this, Network Administrators have more real-world knowledge that can be applied to everyday life such as fixing hardware problems, whereas programmers’ knowledge is usually much more specifically geared towards programming, and some programmers don't even know how to build a PC, whereas Network Administrators are usually very proficient in dealing with hardware. In other words, Network Administrators know hardware and software really well, whereas Programmers just specifically deal in software, but have much more intricate knowledge of programming code. Finally I have heard that a Network Administrator's job is usually a little more physical than a Programmer's job. In other words, Programmers sit in a cubicle all day typing code, whereas Network Administrators have to get up, fix things, sometimes drive places, etc. And because of the nature of his job, a Network Administrator needs to be physically present "at work", whereas a Programmer can sometimes work from home. And because of this, more programming jobs are being outsourced overseas, whereas networking jobs tend to be staying in the United States.

    I know all of these things are generalities.

    I am trying to find out the real differences between these occupations.

    Comments?
    Last edited by Timberwolf5578; 06-03-2010 at 02:22 AM.
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  3. Senior Member jamesleecoleman's Avatar
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    #2
    At my first job. The network administrator could actually remote in from home. He even had cameras in the little 'server' room to see who was in there. There would be times where he was on site and had to fix employee's computers, phones, and other good mess.
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  4. Senior Member sidsanders's Avatar
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    #3
    i have worked around dev folks who do cobol/c/c++/java/.net/scipting langs/and on... not all required math, and not all could cross programming disciplines. that is, a cobol person wasnt always gonna be real good doing oop (object oriented programming) and many folks doing the "newer" langs wouldnt deal with cobol. some dev folks did know hardware and had to know networking to handle some of the projects they were on. know some dev folks who have mcse's and other certs.

    in larger shops, things get segmented more -- net folks touch only routers/switches, security folks do the firewalls/ids, server folks handle.... servers, os centric support groups, etc... smaller shops you may find net admins who have to do everything since there isnt enough people to segment the load.

    i have seen net admins who wont touch pc/servers, some who know how to write c/c++/etc. guess this becomes an "it depends" response so...
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  5. Join Date
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Timberwolf5578 View Post
    I am trying to find out the real differences between these occupations.
    I don't see the real difference as you've described it. I would think of the difference more in terms of what they're doing and how it affects the business.

    Developers are often engaged in building new technology to meet business needs, and sometimes are involved in supporting existing installed code-bases. The extent of each activity is going to depend on the shop; in some places you will find many clear role and responsibility boundaries, even within the development area. I wouldn't say pure numeric skill is a requirement as much as the ability to think logically and implement that logic in code is the capability that is needed in this area.

    One way that developers affect the business by building new capabilities that the business will use to achieve its goals.

    Network administrators tend to spend their time supporting technology that is already in production, from the perspective of the network. This role is not so much focused on building the next great thing, as it is focused on keeping the current great things communicating with one another.

    Network administrators, as opposed to developers, tend to affect the business by being charged with keeping things running and applications and people communicating with each other. This role can often be thought of as a "plumber of the IT world".

    IMO, these are two very very different roles. It's possible at times to find developers that are highly knowledgeable about networking activities because they do coding that specifically relates to this. It's equally possible to find pure networking guys that have no idea what specific software applications do. In reality you will find everyone is really at a different point on all of these scales...

    MS
    Last edited by eMeS; 06-03-2010 at 05:36 AM.
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  6. Senior Member tomahawkeer's Avatar
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    #5
    I think your safe on your assumption of how the 2 differ. From my exerience, a programmer would be someone who programs (obviously) or does some type of intense testing trouble shooting with software in particular, with the word "Software" being the operative word. An administrator however, is a much broader description, and as you said, is quite possibly more a jack of all king of none, but could possibly specialize in a particular area (networking, servers, security, support) just depends on the actual job.
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